8 Wellness Trends for 2018

From Mushrooms to Wellness Kitchens

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New York, NY – Mushroom lattes and kitchens that nourish — instead of just feed you — are two wellness trends you can expect to see in 2018, according to the Global Wellness Summit’s international panel of more than 600 wellness experts.

Results were shared this week and cover eight wellness sectors: nutrition, fitness, travel, spa, beauty, technology, medical and architecture. The hottest trends identified in wellness are:

  1. Mushrooms

Expect to see mushrooms in everything from your salads to your medicine cabinets to your lattes. We’ve been eating them for centuries, and know they are high in B and D vitamins.  But recent medical studies are showing they also have cancer fighting properties, help strengthen immune systems, and even lower cholesterol. Two clinical trials at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and New York University Langone Medical Center, found that 80 cancer patients suffering from anxiety, depression or a fear of death were given psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in roughly 200 kinds of mushrooms. About 80% of them experienced “an increase in optimism, a feeling of connection with other people and mystical and spiritual experiences. The effects persisted through the six-month follow-up period,” the Washington Post reports. In light of this, there’s also a legalization movement on tap.  Advocates are pushing to get these mushrooms on ballots in California, Oregon and Colorado.  Experts are predicting they will be legalized medicine within five years.  And finally, ‘shrooms are coming to light as stress and inflammation fighters. Expect to see mushrooms (esp. “adaptogenic” varietals like reishi, cordyceps, chaga) get infused in everything from powders to lattes, cocoas, chocolate, broths, oils and teas. And you’ll be seeing many of them listed on your favorite beauty products soon, as well.

2. A New Era of Transformative Wellness Travel

Travel’s benefits are no mystery. But the new buzzword for 2018 is “Transformational Travel.”  Experts predict more wellness destinations will merge wellness circuits and storylines together to create the ultimate wellness getaway. So, instead of taking that yoga class and heading back to your hotel room, expect to see more wellness sagas: Design proposals have been created for a Red Mountain Resort in Iceland, where spa-goers would follow the intense, five-chapter emotional and sensory voyage of an ancient Icelandic hero. This project is still in development. Spa experiences will be reimagined as active, long, nature-roaming journeys (a circuit of hiking, meditation, treatments, etc.), like the all-day Spa Safari at Nihi, Sumba Island. If you go to the Peninsula Hot Springs in Australia, expect to soak in hot springs while listening to a live concert. It’s all about engaging people’s emotions as much as evidence-based healing.

3. Reframing the First 1,000 Days

Books like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” have moms’ health and worries covered during that all important first 1,000 days of pregnancy and early childhood.  But experts say fathers will play an even more important role during that time. Wellness experts predict the rising importance of epigenetics, the study of how gene expression changes with environmental and lifestyle factors, and that can be inherited. It also examines the dad’s role in creating a supportive and healthy environment during pregnancy and after birth.  In addition to this, wellness treatments and techniques such as yoga, massage, and mindfulness, will be the first choice to treat babies and children of all ages suffering from injury, sleeplessness or pain.

4. The Wellness Kitchen

Forget granite countertops and hardwood floors. The new must-haves for “Wellness Kitchens” that nourish, instead of just feed, are refrigerators redesigned to properly store and transparently display fresh fruits and vegetables. Kitchens will have space for gardens and sprouting. Noisy appliances will be a thing of the past. Composting delivery systems and particulate and oxygen sensors will be standard features. And there will be more emphasis on healthy building materials.

5. Getting our “Clean Air Act” Together

Air pollution kills. And so the “Clean Air Act” trend will pressure more businesses and governments to take action against indoor air pollution. Expect to see devices designed to monitor your air in everything from homes to offices, and gadgets refigured to meet your fashion needs, like chic air pollution masks.  New sensors and apps will monitor air quality and purify it, and new pollution-fighting beauty regimes will be available, like salt therapy and breathwork training. Even travel destinations will try to attract people by offering “lung-cleansing” benefits.

6. Extreme Wellness

We’ve all heard of the benefits of putting mind over matter.  And 2018’s Extreme Wellness trend will do exactly that – offer extreme, Olympic-like training “mind over matter” workshops. In the “Ice Man” Wim Hof’s training in Switzerland, participants deploy meditation and breathwork to brave extreme ice and learn to master their immune and autonomic nervous systems. New luxury travel escapes challenge both body and mind, like Black Tomato’s “Get Lost” adventures, where the very brave are dropped into the wilderness to fend for themselves. The focus is to build a better brain and hack the body’s basic make-up through precision medicine and wellness – anything and everything seems suddenly possible.

7. Wellness Meets Happiness

Loneliness can be as big a killer as smoking. So experts are predicting a rise in co-working, co-living and social spaces focused on building well communities in our age of digital isolation and remote work. The Assemblage (NYC), one of the new “third place” membership clubs, blends daily events/workshops and mindful exercise and an Ayurvedic restaurant “to transition from a society defined by separation into one of connectedness.”  Co-working giant WeWork is on a global expansion tear with its work, wellness and community spaces designed for the gig economy, and are launching other community and wellness-focused concepts, like WeLive (co-living) and Rise by We (fitness/wellness centers).

8. A New Feminist Wellness

#MeToo dominated the conversation in the latter half of 2017. In light of that, experts predict more women-only clubs, co-working spaces, and collectives: where women work, network, empower each other, unwind and learn — with much wellness on tap. More wellness travel will also target women’s empowerment: from tough all-women’s adventure travel to more “painmoons,” which are wellness retreats providing women emotional healing after divorce, breakups, grief, anger, loss of sexual happiness, etc.

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